Tax Dollars Spent to Spend More Tax Dollars

Frustration fuels me and so, despite any anger I am occasionally made to feel, I absolutely love to complain about the ridiculous activities or decisions made by governments and groups around the world. Sometimes though, they make my job too easy.
Speaking of which, I received a news wire late yesterday afternoon from The Canadian Press; it’s as if they’re feeding me straight lines…

It would appear that a branch of the Canadian federal government is having a hard time controlling, of all things, the same branch of the federal government.
Sounds bad? The details make it sound worse!
Passport Canada and their Web police are having a hard time eliminating an application form from the Internet, and the department responsible for the availability of this form on the Internet is Foreign Affairs; Foreign Affairs is the parent department for Passport Canada.
Yes…that’s right! So now the federal government is spending how much on fighting itself?!

The form in question is PPTC-132 which is intended for people—often already overseas—who need to apply for a passport but can’t find a guarantor to confirm their identity. According to Passport Canada guidelines, all applicants should only be offered this form as a last resort once they’ve presented their case to a passport officer in person. Passport Canada always keeps all copies under lock and key and insists that having blank forms in circulation presents a significant security risk.

But an Albertan, Darren Enns, made the form available on his website as a service to other Canadians after he had a tough time obtaining it while abroad. Passport Canada swiftly told him to remove it; he complied, and instead provided links to other sites where the form was available to download… all the links point to Foreign Affairs websites.
Foreign Affairs has been advised by its daughter department about the risks and told to remove any post making this form obtainable. Six months later, the form is still available on many Canadian government websites.

So why did the federal government invest all that money into reviewing and improving passport applications to make them more secure when the federal government is simplifying things and opening up a security risk? Confused? How can you not be…

Keep on clicking!


© 2009, Pascal-Denis Lussier

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